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I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hibari Misora -- Kanto Harusamegasa (関東春雨傘)


One of the other songs that was featured at my friend`s dance recital the other Saturday was an old Hibari Misora(美空ひばり)enka ballad titled "Kanto Harusamegasa" (Umbrella for a Spring Rain in the Kanto) which was originally released in December 1963.

Composed and written by Masao Yoneyama(米山正夫), it`s a tribute to old-time feistiness and no one can do enka feisty better than the Grande Dame herself. If I have got the meaning to the lyrics correctly, Misora is virtually daring a suitor to take her out for a stroll in that titular spring rain, the impression being that the lady has a certain intimidating reputation. Then she exhorts the fellow that if he`s gonna court her, then he'd better be ready to live life large since that's what she does.

Yoneyama's music also has the raucousness of a summer festival, perhaps for listeners to even better understand the force of nature that the woman is. It strikes a contrast with the title depicting a gentle stroll with that demure young lady. If anything, the poor guy will probably have to run to catch up with the strutting woman while sporting the brolley.



Y'know...if Madonna had started life a few decades earlier and decided to go into enka, "Kanto Harusamegasa" would have been right up her alley. I've got no idea how well this song did in terms of sales and no Oricon existed at the time to chart its success, but it's hard to imagine it being forgotten even among Misora's huge discography. To me, this song is another illustration of the phenomenon that was Hibari Misora.


"Kanto Harusamegasa" has been covered a number of times in various TV performances over the years. Here is Junko Ishihara(石原洵子).


Then, there is veteran Miyuki Kawanaka(川中美幸).


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